Tags: Ahmadinejad | under | fire

Iran President Ahmadinejad In Rows With 3 Leading Officials

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2008 09:46 AM

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TEHRAN -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was locked in three separate rows with the heads of powerful institutions Tuesday amid a mounting backlash against his virulent attacks on opponents.

Ahmadinejad fired off a letter to parliament speaker Gholam Ali Hadad Adel, furiously denouncing him for an "inexplicable act" in bypassing the presidency by giving the order to implement legislation in an official newspaper.

Meanwhile, the heads of two powerful judiciary bodies lambasted Ahmadinejad for accusing his opponents in a speech last week of forming an economic and political mafia, saying there was no evidence such networks existed.

The public arguments come ahead of the second round of parliamentary elections on Friday. Ahmadinejad himself must seek re-election in summer 2009 against a background of discontent over high inflation.

"Unfortunately once again your inexplicable act...created a new opportunity for ill-wishers to pressure and accuse the government," Ahmadinejad said in the letter to Hadad Adel, quoted by the Kargozaran newspaper and other media. "Is it right to attack the government, which is severely under fire by the corrupt ones for its justice-seeking and obtaining the nation's rights and dignity?

"If it (your action) was not a clear violation of the constitution I would never have initiated this correspondence," he said.

Hadad Adel, whose daughter is married to the son of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a powerful figure in Iran who has only occasionally gone public with explicit criticism of the president.

Ahmadinejad made an attack on opponents in a speech in the clerical center Qom last week that was unprecedented in its vehemence, vowing to "cut their hands" to break networks of economic and political corruption.

"I will go to the end to change and uproot all these corrupt people or who show a lack of determination. I fear nothing," he said.

But Mohammad Niazi, the head of the state inspection organization, a branch of the judiciary charged with investigating economic and administrative issues, said there was "no record" of the existence of an economic mafia in Iran.

The head of the state organization for the registration of properties, Hossein Ali Amiri, sent a strongly worded letter to Ahmadinejad complaining of his " surprising and pitiful" accusations.

"Using the word mafia, regardless of its legal international meaning will have an irreversible effect on the administrative and judicial system," he said in the letter quoted by Kargozaran.

In the past week, Ahmadinejad has also been under fire from three leading clerics for his economic polices and has been criticized in the press for making excessive changes to his cabinet.

© 2008 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

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